The project is being funded through a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. While the city has received other CDBG grants over the years, this marks the first grant to be used for property demolition and clearance, according to City Clerk Patricia Carden.
Affected property owners will be sent notice of the pending demolition within the next two to three weeks, at which time, they can choose to allow the demolition or file an objection for review by the City Council. Should the council still find the property a nuisance, the owner has 30 days to eliminate those conditions or 10 days to request an appeal. Each property will be reviewed by the council at a public hearing that has yet to be set.
The properties were initially chosen by the city’s former building inspector John Gladness based on his knowledge of building violations throughout the city, Carden said. Outside contractor Jim Lanier was later hired to review those selections and include additional properties.
Lanier certified structures on the 50 properties as nuisances and confirmed that the cost of rehabilitating the structure is not economically feasible.
Carden said all of the properties, which are mostly residential, exhibit long-term neglect, and were deemed structurally unsound. Eight of the locations also had asbestos present, and only one had active utilities.
Monroe and Associates, LLC is managing the project. Company representative Susan Monroe updated the City Council on their progress at its Sept. 5 meeting and estimated demolition will begin in October.
“John Gladness had these properties on a list for years, and he has been trying to get them down one or two houses at a time, so this is an opportunity to get 50 down at once and clean things up quite a bit,” Monroe said.
She said the properties should be left in a manageable condition.
“The goal is to get the grounds to a point where a new structure can be built on it, so it needs to be relatively level, any bushes that would keep you from getting into there need to be taken care of,” Monroe said. “It’s supposed to be left in a condition where it could easily be handled by the owner or a new constructor.”
A bid of $141,500 from G. Pearson Construction was accepted to carry out the demolition.
Properties being considered for demolition are as follows: 513, 704 and 507 Avondale Avenue, 435 Smith Avenue, 22 Jackson Avenue, 301 E. Park St., 16 E. Eighth St., 307 N. Nashville Avenue, 145 Player Circle, 1411 Quarry Road, 216 Oak Avenue S., 416, 415, 413 and 418 Morris Avenue, 1401 Edwards St., 1012 W. Fourth St., 427, 425 and 507 Oakland Avenue, 118 Comet Lane, 605 Brock Avenue, , 303 Sixth St. E., 510 Brentwood St., 1021 Pine Street, 511 S. Hammett Avenue, 110 E. Eighth St., 408 Hubbard Avenue, 90 Hubbard Road, 715 and 717 Finley Avenue, 701 and 805 N. Anniston Avenue, 1318 and 1294 Brickyard Rd., 238 Oak Avenue, 618 W. Clay St., 405 and 407 Basement Circle, 425, 385, 387 and 389 Chappell St., 413 Louisville Avenue, 305 S. Main St. and locations in Fairmont and Sedgefield and at South Hammett and Pinewood Lane, East Milton and S. Main Avenue and Louisville Avenue and Fifth Street.
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